On March 18, 39 members of Taiwan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (TPMA), led by Mr. Wei-Jen Chen, president, visited JSMI. To welcome these visitors, an exchange conference was held with 26 Japanese representatives as hosts, mainly from the members of the international committee of JSMI. The participants included Mr. Jianliang and Ms. Jingmin Wang from Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA). Dr. Hidemi Katsura (Reviewer Director) and Mr. Hiroyuki Tsuji from Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in Japan, as well as Mr. Akada, the head of International Affairs Committee from the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of Japan (FPMAJ).
Following the opening welcoming speech by Mr. Kurita, the standing director of JSMI, a lecture was held on the topic of recent moves in the pharmaceutical administrations in Taiwan, which is attracting much attention in Japan at present. Also, a response was given to the prior questions provided by parties in Japan.
The first lecture was given by Ms. Jingmin Wang of TFDA, in regards to the revision of rules concerning the individual package and packaging inserts, as well as on QR codes. In order to provide "voice" information for the visually impaired, an idea was proposed so that QR codes provide text information only, and voice information will be handled by the use of applications that convert text information into voice. This was followed by the presentation of an individual package sample with QR codes designed by TFDA.
Following this, Mr. Jianliang Lin provided a response to each of the prior questions. From the Japanese participants, Mr. Nishizawa, advisor of JSMI, gave a lecture under the title "Future View of Self-medication" that covered a wide range of topics, including the current situation of the Japanese medical insurance system, government efforts regarding the social security system, and the tax system to promote self-medication, which will be newly established.
Discussions on the issues that concern Japan and Taiwan will be continued in the Japan-Taiwan Pharmaceutical Interaction Meeting scheduled for November.
2. Opening of Specimen measurement room in the Drugstore Show
Japan Drugstore Show 2016 was held in Makuhari Messe from March 17 to 20 under the theme "Total support for the town drugstore that protects people's lives! -Accelerating self-medication-" with 128,000 visitors attending this event according to the organizers. The Japan Self-Medication Industry (JSMI) and the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of Japan, with the full support of the Specimen measurement room Collaborative Council, opened the Specimen measurement room in the theme booth where Sample measurementmeasurements were performed on volunteers.
The establishment of the Specimen measurement room is still insufficient with 1,198 rooms across Japan (as of February 29, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). However, there were endless queues of volunteers who wished to undergo measurements. As a result, there were 1,200 visitors to the booth over three days with responses far greater than expectations.
Volunteers for measurements consisted of almost equal numbers of males and females with a wide range of age groups from young women to elderly people. The measurement involved a simple fingertip self-check, and this may have provided opportunities to heighten health awareness through knowledge of the state of the body. Although the measurement was only for HbA1c on this occasion, there were people who requested fat measurements. We were able to communicate with consumers that a Specimen measurement room can contribute to prolongation of healthy longevity through self-checks in Specimen measurement rooms in nearby drugstores and pharmacies combined with yearly health examinations. Also, many volunteers asked for information on the whereabouts of Specimen measurement rooms in their local areas.
We received cooperation from many pharmacists in the establishment of the Specimen measurement room on this occasion, and the participating pharmaceutical representatives said that they were able to practice their skills as pharmacists, felt enjoyment and reward in coming closer to the consumers, and communicated directly with them. Also, they expressed their willingness to practice their skills as a part of national projects for health support pharmacies and local health hub stations and to make enlightenment particularly of the importance of prevention and early discovery of lifestyle diseases and diabetes mellitus.